Factsheets

Nuclear Energy

As the United States moves steadily toward a carbon-free energy future, nuclear power will be an essential part of the journey. INL’s cutting-edge research is making nuclear energy more affordable, versatile and sustainable.

We’re working to give Americans effective tools to fight climate change while keeping our citizens safe.

Browse the fact sheets below to learn more about our research capabilities, collaborations and more.

Nuclear Programs Overview

Nuclear Programs Overview

Multiple INL programs contribute to the safe operation of today’s reactors.
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Capabilities

Advanced Fuels Facility

Advanced Fuels Facility

AFF’s operations involve research and development primarily with uranium-bearing fuels and associated surrogate materials to increase MFC’s advanced fuel manufacturing capabilities.
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Advanced Test Reactor

Advanced Test Reactor

ATR is the only U.S. research reactor capable of providing large-volume, high-flux thermal neutron irradiation in a prototype environment.
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Advanced Test Reactor — Core Overhaul

Advanced Test Reactor — Core Overhaul

ATR’s core overhaul process renews the reactor by replacing components nearest to the core.
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Advanced Test Reactor — Safety

Advanced Test Reactor — Safety

ATR is the largest and most powerful research reactor in the world and supports research for the departments of Energy and Defense.
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Analytical Research Laboratories

Analytical Research Laboratories

ARL supports chemical, radiochemical, physical and analytical data needed for advanced nuclear fuel design, waste management, environmental and other INL programs.
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Experimental Fuels Facility

Experimental Fuels Facility

EFF includes uranium metal forming equipment, a computer numerical control (CNC) lathe, electrical discharge machine, a cold rolling mill, and other fabrication equipment.
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Fuel Manufacturing Facility

Fuel Manufacturing Facility

FMF transitioned to research and development (R&D) of transuranic metallic and ceramic fuels. It supplies various INL and off-site facilities with feedstock materials.
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Fuels and Applied Science Building

Fuels and Applied Science Building

FASB is a radiological facility that houses small hot cells, gloveboxes, hoods, and other equipment that supports nuclear energy research and development.
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Hot Fuel Examination Facility

Hot Fuel Examination Facility

The Hot Fuel Examination Facility is the largest hot cell dedicated to radioactive material research at Idaho National Laboratory.
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Idaho’s 52 Reactors

Idaho’s 52 Reactors

Since 1949, 52 reactors have been built and operated on INL’s 890-square-mile site.
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Irradiated Materials Characterization Laboratory

Irradiated Materials Characterization Laboratory

IMCL is home to instrumentation that allows researchers to study irradiated fuels and materials at the micro, nano and atomic levels.
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Laser Shock System

Laser Shock System

LSS can assess the fabricated interface strength of layered or composite structures and determine the debond stress thresholds from a production process.
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Molten Salt Thermophysical Examination Capability

Molten Salt Thermophysical Examination Capability

The MSTEC will be a state-of-the-art, shielded argon glovebox for irradiated and nonirradiated actinide materials.
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Radiochemistry Laboratory

Radiochemistry Laboratory

Characterization, Post-irradiation Examination
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Research Collaboration Building

Research Collaboration Building

RCB provides dedicated space for visiting researchers to interact with INL research staff at the Materials and Fuels Complex.
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Sample Preparation Laboratory

Sample Preparation Laboratory

SPL a Hazard Category 3 facility to serve as a national center for accelerated research, development, and qualification of nuclear materials.
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Test Train Assembly Facility

Test Train Assembly Facility

The Test Train Assembly Facility (TTAF) is used for final assembly of experiments to be installed at the ATR.
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Transient Reactor Test Facility

Transient Reactor Test Facility

TREAT allows researchers to test nuclear fuels and materials in off-normal and accident conditions, providing key data that helps improve safety and efficiency
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Zero Power Physics Reactor Facility

Zero Power Physics Reactor Facility

ZPPR is a nuclear facility with current capabilities that include storage, inspection, and repackaging of transuranic elements and enriched uranium.
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Aqueous Separations Laboratories

Aqueous Separations Laboratories

Aqueous Separations Laboratories specialize in the research and development of water-based and gas phase separations for researchers and industry.
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Energy Innovation Laboratory Pyrochemistry Research Capabilities

Energy Innovation Laboratory Pyrochemistry Research Capabilities

Researching molten salts for processing used nuclear fuels and developing molten salt reactor systems.
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Fuel Conditioning Facility

Fuel Conditioning Facility

INL’s Fuel Conditioning Facility supports work to demonstrate the technical feasibility of a nuclear recycling technique called pyroprocessing.
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Materials and Fuels Complex Pyrochemistry Research Capabilities

Materials and Fuels Complex Pyrochemistry Research Capabilities

The Pyrochemistry Laboratories play a vital role in researching molten salts for processing used nuclear fuels and developing molten salt reactor systems.
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Material Recovery Pilot Plant

Material Recovery Pilot Plant

The Material Recovery Pilot Plant (MRPP), a research facility operated by the Department of Energy at Idaho National Laboratory, supports processes to recover materials from nuclear fuel.
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Materials Security and Consolidation Complex

Materials Security and Consolidation Complex

The Materials Security and Consolidation Complex supports radioactive material storage and repackaging, contamination techniques and fuel cycle research capabilities.
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Solvent Extraction Equipment Testing Laboratory

Solvent Extraction Equipment Testing Laboratory

The Solvent Extraction Equipment Testing Laboratory allows researchers to develop criteria for separations processes and makes them more efficient.
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3 Types of Nuclear Reactors

3 Types of Nuclear Reactors

INL operates 3 types of nuclear reactors: test, demonstration and commercial power reactors.
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Digital Engineering

Digital Engineering

Digital Engineering uses digital information management systems to design, engineer, build, operate and maintain complex megaprojects.
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Generation IV Nuclear Technology

Generation IV Nuclear Technology

Advanced Fuel Cycle research is an important complement to Generation IV development work at the Idaho National Laboratory.
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Measurement Science Laboratories

Measurement Science Laboratories

The Pyrochemistry Laboratories play a vital role in researching molten salts for processing used nuclear fuels and developing molten salt reactor systems.
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Microreactor AGile Non-Nuclear Experimental Test Bed (MAGNET)

Microreactor AGile Non-Nuclear Experimental Test Bed (MAGNET)

A facility for researchers and technology developers to test new microreactor concepts.
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Single Primary Heat Extraction and Removal Emulator (SPHERE)

Single Primary Heat Extraction and Removal Emulator (SPHERE)

SPHERE can be broadly used to test microreactor structures and subsystems.
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Dynamic Instructions Editing Tool Requirements (DIRECTOR) Initiative

Dynamic Instructions Editing Tool Requirements (DIRECTOR) Initiative

The DIRECTOR initiative is a one-of-a-kind initiative that addresses the need for consistent and clear guidelines when transitioning from paper to dynamic instructions.
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Human System Simulation Laboratory

Human System Simulation Laboratory

A virtual nuclear control room that safely tests new technologies before they are implemented at commercial reactors.
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Monitoring, Diagnostics and Automation Laboratory

Monitoring, Diagnostics and Automation Laboratory

The Monitoring, Diagnostics and Automation Laboratory is helping the nuclear industry develop new sensors, control algorithms and innovative ways to reduce plant operational costs.
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MOOSE Simulation Environment

MOOSE Simulation Environment

Multiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment, better known as MOOSE, makes modeling and simulation more accessible to a broad array of scientists.
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RAVEN

RAVEN

RAVEN is a flexible and multi-purpose uncertainty quantification, regression analysis, probabilistic risk assessment, data analysis and model optimization framework.
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Safety and Tritium Applied Research Facility

Safety and Tritium Applied Research Facility

The Safety and Tritium Applied Research Facility focuses developing safe nuclear technology for fusion and advanced fission energy systems.
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Space Nuclear Power And Isotope Technologies Division

Space Nuclear Power And Isotope Technologies Division

The Space and Security Power Systems Facility assembles, fuels, tests, and prepares power systems for launch.
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Collaborations

Center for Advanced Energy Studies

Center for Advanced Energy Studies

CAES is committed to conducting cutting-edge energy research, educating the next generation of scientists and engineers, and partnering with industry to advance competitiveness.
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Collaborative Computing Center

Collaborative Computing Center

C3 enables research and education through computational science, high-performance computing, and scientific visualization.
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Glenn T. Seaborg Institute

Glenn T. Seaborg Institute

INL’s Glenn T. Seaborg Institute is one of five in the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratory system named after the Nobel Prize winner and scientist Glenn T. Seaborg.
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How INL Unites with Utah

How INL Unites with Utah

Idaho National Laboratory partnerships within the state of Utah illustrate a growing relationship that makes sense both geographically and academically.
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Versatile Test Reactor

Versatile Test Reactor

The Versatile Test Reactor will leverage existing U.S. government and industry investments in nuclear reactors to accelerate its design and construction process.
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Microreactor AGile Non-Nuclear Experimental Testbed (MAGNET)

Microreactor AGile Non-Nuclear Experimental Testbed (MAGNET)

A facility for researchers and technology developers to test new microreactor concepts.
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Microreactor Applications Research Validation and Evaluation Project (MARVEL)

MARVEL

Researchers and technology developers gain operational experience with a real 100-kW fission microreactor.
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The U.S. DOE Microreactor Program

The U.S. DOE Microreactor Program

The U.S. DOE Microreactor Program performs research and development to enable microreactor development, deployment and commercialization.
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Fast Reactors

Fast Reactors

Developing safe, reliable sources of carbon-free energy will be the next decade’s greatest challenge for US power producers. Several US companies are developing Fast Reactors, a type of advanced nuclear reactor.
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High Temperature Reactors

High Temperature Reactors

Several US companies are developing High Temperature Reactors, a type of advanced nuclear reactor used to provide safe, reliable sources of carbon-free energy.
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Molten Salt Reactors

Molten Salt Reactors

Developing safe, reliable sources of carbon-free energy will be the next decade’s greatest challenge for power producers in the US. Several US-based companies are developing Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs), a type of advanced nuclear reactor.
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EBR-II Test Bed Information

EBR-II Test Bed Information

Since EBR-II demonstrated electricity generation, the dome is well suited for higher thermal power reactor projects and those that aim to demonstrate electricity generation.
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Just the Facts

Just the Facts: Chernobyl

Just the Facts: Chernobyl

Certain incidents at nuclear power reactors influence society’s perception of the technology. Chernobyl revealed lessons that improved nuclear energy safety.
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Just the Facts: Fukushima

Just the Facts: Fukushima

Certain incidents at nuclear power reactors influence society’s perception of the technology. Fukishima revealed lessons that improved nuclear energy safety.
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Just the Facts: SL-1

Just the Facts: SL-1

Certain incidents at nuclear power reactors influence society’s perception of the technology. SL-1 revealed lessons that improved nuclear energy safety.
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Just the Facts: Three Mile Island

Just the Facts: Three Mile Island

Certain incidents at nuclear power reactors influence society’s perception of the technology. Three Mile Island revealed lessons that improved nuclear energy safety.
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Idaho National Laboratory